SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Read How Lucy Calkins Ruins A Life in 2023

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Read How Lucy Calkins Ruins A Life in 2023

On March 6 we here at SBSB shared the wisdom of Robert Pondiscio and his thoughts on cult leader Lucy Calkins methods of of abusing children with her failed Reader's Workshop. Later that evening I tweeted Robert and asked him if he had ever shared his thoughts on the other abusive Calkins failure, of Writer's Workshop. He indeed did.

A few things stick out in his article. Just for full disclosure, I have been blessed this year to be at several Writer's Workshop workshops given by 25 year old presenters. I have also been blessed with reading those writer's notebooks that Lucy so loves and must say how amazed I am by the writing in these notebooks. Amazed at how all the bad grammar, spelling, and lack of any writing mechanics whatesoever.

Rob wrote, Of course children will be become better writers if they write personal narratives instead of book reports.

I think, I pray he is being sarcastic with that statement. I know he is, but it got me to wondering.

Yes, the students are always supposed to write about that life experience garbage and make a list of what they can write about because "good writes pick stupid fucking things" from their lives to write about. But how does this help you get a job or show that you understand widgets?

Think years down the road when that student that was abused from years of dealing with the Calkins methodology gets a directive from his boss.

"Jones, I need a report on the widgets we're shipping in from Hong Kong tomorrow, stat!"

Jones, wanting to make his boss happy will undoubtedly say, "Yes sir!" and then proceed to sit at his desk staring into space wondering to himself and scratching his head, "What the fuck is a report?"

Jones scours the Internet to find out how to write that report. Sadly, he has no previous knowledge to assist him and he falls back into familiar habits.

He runs to Staples and buys a black marbled notebook, turns to the front page and writes; "Good writers create reports from life experience about widgets."

He lists everything he knows about widgets excepting the widgets arriving in from Hong Kong the next day.

He then puts pen to paper and and writes his first draft of the report. Sadly it is not a report but more a personal narrative of his knowledge of widgets.

With his first draft, he scampers from cubicle to cubicle in the office looking for a colleague to edit the so-called report. His work colleagues, already with a command of the English language and proper writing mechanics, tell him to "piss off!" whilst laughing hardidly at him.

Ashamed, Jones does the best he can to write the report. When his boss reads it and sees that it is not a report but rather a narrative of Jones' experience with widgets the Boss promptly fires him.

Fired, Jones goes home dejected and explains what happened to his pregnant with twins wife. Fed up at last she tells him that she can not be married to someone so ignorant and promptly orders him to leave their home.

With nowhere to go, Jones moves into the local homeless shelter. He is unable to get Unemployment benefits due to being fired for cause and without medical or dental benefits he can't have the gigantic goiter removed from his neck and see a dental professional for his bleeding gums.

With a goiter and no teeth, not one company will hire Jones. Penniless, homeless, and with a new goiter prominently protruding from the other side of his neck, Jones is left to wander the streets of Morningside Heights ruing the day that his idiot principals, who were mesmerized and brainwashed by Lucy Calkins, allowed him to turn into an writing illiterate.

When things just can't get any worse he sees Lucy Calkins get into her $55k car on Amsterdam Ave. At that moment, he figured out what matters most to Lucy. and it was never him or his classmates.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Get a copy of "Shut Up and Let the Lady Teach" by Emily Sachar. Emily was an education reporter for Newsday who took a year off to teach math in a Brooklyn intermediate school. Her writing is extremely insightful. There is a humorous section in the book where one of the Department (then Board) of Education officials explains to Emily why the students *must* keep journals.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100%

Miles said...

You do know that essay writing is a pretty big part of the TCRWP curriculum, right? I agree, there was an over (sole?) emphasis on personal narrative years ago, but that's no longer the case ... and if it is in your schools, someone is doing something wrong.

Anonymous said...

TC units are still useless pieces of crap. Lucy calkins can't teach!

Anonymous said...

What an atrocious bastardization of reality. The only thing to be outraged about here is that your school continues to let you teach. What problem have you solved? What superior curriculum have you put forth? Why do you attack her personally instead of trying to find a way to solve the problem constructively?

Anonymous said...

22224236

Anonymous said...

I hope your tone and anger is not transferred to your students. You are clearly misinformed about the curriculum.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is why are people putting so much trust in Lucy Calkins? She is ONE person with HER OWN philosophy of teaching reading and writing. We use both reader's workshop and writer's workshop at the school I teach. I teach first grade and every year there are about 5 kids with really high reading levels, 5 kids mid-range and the rest are BELOW in their reading levels! Very far below too. I think the workshop works well for kids whose parents already taught them to read before coming to school. But for most kids, because of the focus on independence, they are failing. Who is Lucy to think she has all the answers for teaching reading and writing? Textbook publishers usually have 30 or more professionals contribute to the research to create their curriculum....why is America following ONE person? Just doesn't make sense to me. Also, I heard Lucy was on the committee for Common Core, so, naturally, she would try to influence the committee to align Common Core standards with her program. Also, I'd like to know Lucy's net worth. She writes "curricular calendars" with "draft" stamp on them "because it's always changing and evolving, etc" Well, this means we are constantly having to BUY her stuff! I think I'll write a book and stamp "draft" on it, sell it, then write another every year with "draft" stamped on it so people just have to keep buying my book year after year! Lucy is a clever marketing genius!

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to bet the negative comments come from teachers who don't want to put much thought or effort into lessons. Instead, they prefer to pull out the ole' trusted basal and give everyone the same instruction. I've used the workshop approach for a few years now, and my students have some of the highest scores in the district.

Lucy Calkin's work is based on research. She is not the only one with these ideas. I suggest some of you start reading educational research. Try to prove her wrong with research instead of filthy mouths. Right now, you're not looking too educated. Be a part of the solution, not the problem. Sometimes as teachers we need to reflect on our teaching because the teacher may be the problem.